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Backbone for smaller boats (Lagoon1)?

Posted: Sat May 14, 2011 5:28 am
by palm1
Hi, I was wondering why there are no Backbones (at least to my knowledge) for smaller boats like Lagoon 1 which I recently bought (the boat is great!). Wouldn't it be worthwhile to improve the tracking performance or are there any other reasons against this accessory for smaller models (like Backbone price in comparison to the boat price)?

I am curious about whether somebody has experience with fabricating some home-made Backbone alternative, using a PVC pipe or something like this. Just to give it a try after reading a lot of positive reviews.

Or should I forget about it, at least as long I stick to Lagoon 1 and don't upgrade my kayak to an Advanced Frame or AirFusion model? Thanks.

Posted: Sat May 14, 2011 7:06 am
by lee johnson
A BB for a Lagoon? It could be done but is probably not necessary. A main shortcoming of inflatable kayaks is that they are "floppy" and flexible and thus absorb energy from the water and slow down accordingly. This is one reason why rigid watercraft, such as hard-shell kayaks, tend to be more efficient in slipping through the water. AE's solution: the rigid aluminum forms in the bow and stern, augmented by the BackBone. The result is a much stiffer hull and hence much better performance. However - and this is the point in question about the Lagoon - the longer the kayak, the more important it is to have a rigid internal architecture to offset the energy-wasting floppiness of an IK. By contrast, the Lagoon, at its 8'4" length, is short enough to be quite stiff and compact without additional supports, which would only add to the kayak's weight.

Now, having said all this, I wonder: would it not be fun to try to experiment with the Lagoon along the lines you have suggested - fashioning a PVC BackBone, wrapped in soft foam, for example? The result could be quite clever, as a "V"-shape from the improvised BB could improve the Lagoon's tracking and movement through the water. Why not try this and report back to the good people on this Forum? Use a GPS to check on a "cruising speed" with and without the device you fabricate. As a fan of the Lagoon (for its simplicity, ease of use, and as my first choice for a "traveling kayak"), I may have to beat you to the punch!

Posted: Mon May 16, 2011 1:32 pm
by rsimpson
Exactly what Lee said. The Lagoon1 tubes are much shorter than than the 2-man version. So, you get almost zero flex in the tube when paddling.

Posted: Wed May 18, 2011 12:43 pm
by palm1
rsimpson wrote:Exactly what Lee said. The Lagoon1 tubes are much shorter than than the 2-man version. So, you get almost zero flex in the tube when paddling.
Thanks for the nice explanation. Looking positively, it is a win-win. If the Lagoon remains just the way it is, it is already a relatively stiff boat (and fun, glad to hear it). If I do experiment with an improvodes backbone of sorts, it may also be of interest to me and goog people on this forum. I'll try... A PVC tube with a soft foam from a DIY market is exactly what I had in mind... Thanks once again. Regards.